Liz Bayrak, 2nd year Economics student, spent last summer volunteering with Think Pacific, a charity which runs expeditions to rural Fijian schools & communities
What Were Your Biggest Highlights?
“Whilst the planned activities were amazing, it was the little things which really made my experience. I loved getting to know my extended family across the village over endless cups of lemon leaf tea. Also, progressing through small victories in my 1-1s tutoring sessions with the children was a huge highlight!”
What Have You Gained From Your Experience?
“As cliched as it sounds the project really gave me a new view on life. Just seeing how content my Fijian family were with so little has made me really appreciative of what I have and has taught me not to take things for granted. I’ve met the most amazing people both within the group and in Fiji and it’s amazing to say I’ll always have a family in Fiji!”
What Would You Say to Someone Thinking About Volunteering in Fiji?
“I would say to 100% do it. It has honestly been one of the best experiences of my life and it’s something that you won’t have believe you’ve done by the end of it! I would also say that if you think you can breeze through on a holiday in Fiji then this experience is not for you, as this a cultural immersion unlike no other!”
What Were Your Biggest Challenges on Project?
“I think the biggest challenge was really throwing yourself into the back to basics experience. At times the Fijian lifestyle can seem so far away from what we’re used but you just have to remember that this is a real & full cultural immersion and the only way to make the most of it is to get over the small problems like cold bucket showers. It definitely helped that we had fab leaders that could reassure you and remind you why you’re here if any difficulties arose!”
What Skills Did You Develop on Project?
“I became a lot more culturally aware and a lot more confident communicating with new people- this was especially developed through the 1-1s as you had to be really clear when explaining work to the students.”
Think Pacific is one of almost 30 organisations attending the Go Abroad Fair on Wednesday 24th October 2018.